Powerful Hurricane Matthew stalls but holds Jamaica, Cuba in its sights

Photo Credit: NOAA
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KINGSTON, JAMAICA - CBS News- Powerful Hurricane Matthew is barely moving as Hurricane Warnings remain in effect for Jamaica and much of Haiti, which is bracing for life-threatening rainfall, CBS Miami reports.

At 8:00 p.m., the center of the storm was about 360 miles south-southwest of Port au Prince, Haiti and about 385 miles southeast of Kingston, Jamaica. Matthew has barely moved during the past few hours but a slow northwestward motion is expected to begin. A turn toward the north-northwest with an increase in forward speed is expected Sunday, followed by a turn toward the north on Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Matthew will approach Jamaica and southwestern Haiti on Monday.

Matthew briefly reached the top hurricane classification, Category 5, and was the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Matthew’s winds had slipped slightly from a peak of 160 mph (260 kph) to a still-potentially devastating 150 mph (240 kph), a Category 4 storm. It was expected to near eastern Jamaica and southwestern Haiti on Monday.

The latest forecast had Matthew’s path passing closer to Haiti than before and the center issued a hurricane warning for Jamaica and “much of Haiti,” and said life-threatening rainfall was expected in parts of the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The forecast track would also carry Matthew across Cuba and into the Bahamas, with an outside chance of a brush with Florida, though that would be several days away.